This unit does research, technology development and
technology transfer to improve the efficiency, quality and safety of red meat
produced in Southern African from rangeland and feedlots. We have a modern research
feedlot with 48 pens, each holding ten animals; 104 individual
stanchions for data collection on individual animals and a dedicated metabolic stable which
holds 22 animals for trials with cannulated weaner calves.
Furthermore, we present short courses and do least-cost
diet formulations, diet evaluations, feasibility studies and business planning.
Our unit works closely with
the Meat Industry Centre. This is equipped with a D15 experimental abattoir
that facilitates specialised research techniques or procedures that could
otherwise not be performed in normal commercial abattoirs and provides a
controlled environment for researchers to standardise procedures. Their program
is run by dedicated, well-trained and experienced scientists, technicians and
support personnel, backed by competent meat processing, analytical and
microbiological laboratories. The unit addresses meat quality and consumer
safety issues, and taste panel evaluations are done to ensure consumer
We do client specific research where we are able to
measure performance parameters such as growth, feed intake, carcass weight and
carcass classification, from these we determine feed conversion and carcass
characteristics. A Rand value can be placed on these parameters and the
products like feed additives or medicinal treatments tested can be evaluated in
terms of economic benefit below or above a set standard. A recent tested feed additive
improved dressing % by more than 2%, resulting in a higher carcass yield and
income for the producer.
Animal experiments and meat quality evaluations are
done on a client specific base and the execution of these experiments in terms
of cost need to be negotiated.
The well attended feedlot course, which had more
than 400 participants was cancelled. However, the course did result in a book
which is now available at our library bookshop (Ms Mpho Makhanya).
Diet formulation will cost
R 400.00 per diet, and consultations will cost from R 400.00 depending on the
amount of time spent.
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